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In the 1980s and 1990s, video dating was actually pretty popular. People would record videos with their camcorders at an office of a matchmaking company. Then singles would come in and watch the videos one by one and choose someone who they wanted to go on a date with. Speed dating was also pretty popular because you could meet anywhere between 10 to 50 people in one night and decide again, who you wanted to go on a date with face-to-face.
Fast forward 10 to 20 years, and dating has turned into either a swipe left or a swipe right to find your next fling. Even though Tinder and other apps have made online dating a lot more popular, it took a long time to get to that point. Just three years ago when I first started building my own video dating app, only 15% of singles worldwide were using dating apps. Thanks to Tinder and other apps like OkCupid, Coffee meets bagel, Hinge, and others, online dating apps are now used by almost 50% of singles.
It takes time for a barrier to come down, whether religion, race, or the stigma of dating online. For some reason, people just never felt comfortable putting their personalities and pictures online and meeting each other in a virtual world. But now that it is more commonplace, people are comfortable, and they are meeting at a record pace. The question is, what is the next evolution now that the walls have been broken down to the world of online dating?
Video. Real-time video. That is where dating is headed. And here’s a few reasons why:
- People are tired of getting catfished. Everyone knows that photos are usually made to look better, make up is used, and good angles are prominent. But when you meet that person in real life, they are rarely like their online persona, both in looks and personality. Videos will change that.
- Vine, Instagram, Periscope, YouTube, Snapchat, and other apps are making video more and more ubiquitous across the board. People are getting used to showcasing their lives using video. What better way to get to know people on a dating app except for video?
- Every evolution takes time to take hold, the online dating revolution took 10 to 20 years to take hold. Video might take another 10 years. But we are ahead of the game, and have been here for years.
- Investors are always looking for the next big thing, whereas today they may not see how big a market video dating is, one day they will, mark my words. When that happens, it will explode.
- Single parents would rather have 20 bad dates from the comfort of their home while the kids are playing in the other room, rather than getting ready, spending money and time, to have one bad date in person.
- On the other hand, singles could have a really good date using a video dating app, and then feel more comfortable in person when they finally meet instead of having that awkward 21 questions, uncomfortable silence, and just the weird first date vibes.
Overall, video dating is the best way to find out if you have chemistry with a potential single person, before meeting in person. This will cause a shift in online dating to the point where there will be a lot less bad dates, less catfishing, and more relationship building. Having video chats and sending video messages prior to meeting in person will help establish some sort of foundation. Only time will tell to see when this massive movement will start to emerge. In the meantime, we are here, we are ready, and we are all about real-time video.
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Dating used to be something out of the movies. You would pick up a girl at her house with flowers, drive her to a restaurant and a movie, give her a goodnight kiss, and then talk on the phone for hours until seeing each other once again. Nowadays if you have a date like this it’s probably because you woke up and realized it was just a dream. When the Internet was invented, and companies started coming out left and right to exploit its power, Netflix was one of those companies. Nobody realized how big and convenient it would become, but it has.
In the age of millenials, when two people are dating, a typical night together is watching movies on Netflix (or scrolling through choices endlessly), and ordering takeout. This seems to be the norm nowadays because it’s easy, relaxing, cheap, and you get to know someone without too many distractions. Women seem to think that a “Netflix and Chill” date means the guy is looking for sex. Well that’s just plain ridiculous. Guys are looking for sex regardless of what you are doing, whether at a restaurant, a movie, a show, or a bar. Guys think about sex quite often no matter what ladies, so just get the Netflix/takeout sex thoughts out of your head.
The cool thing about watching Netflix and ordering takeout is how comfortable you can both feel knowing that you don’t have a waiter in your face every two seconds, you won’t be uncomfortable in a movie theater (most seats suck!) with noisy people around you (chomping popcorn or texting on their phones), you don’t have to deal with traffic and parking, and you can talk to each other without people overhearing your conversations. Don’t forget you can drink whatever alcohol you want, listen to whatever music you want, watch whatever movie you want, in the privacy of your own home (with your pet), use your clean bathroom (unless you’re a slob), and have access to everything that is convenient.
At this point I don’t really know anybody who doesn’t watch Netflix and Chill, it’s so rare nowadays. The truth is, if I add up all the times that I watched Netflix and ordered takeout with a girl where we just hung out and didn’t have sex versus the times that we did have sex: The “no sex nights” would win hands down. So therefore that theory is completely crushed. Game over!
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I recently engaged in a conversation with someone online regarding the topic of serial dating. This woman claimed that all men are serial daters and that it’s impossible to truly be in a relationship with a man because he’s constantly going on dates with new women. Ironically, my response to that statement was that I felt the same way about women.
I happen to have a lot of female friends, and when I see them juggling 20 guys on their phone, that makes me wonder who is really the serial dater here, guys, or girls. Most likely it’s both. But I also think that this is a question of context. There are guys out there like me, who truly are looking for one person to be in a relationship with. The issue falls down to the 50-50 rule. What I mean by that is, the luck of being in a relationship with someone, or just meeting someone who likes you as much as you like them. You have a 50-50 chance at it.
When you first go on a date with someone, you might hit it off and really like each other, or so you think. You might never hear back from that person again for a second date, even though you thought you had a good time, but they didn’t, or they didn’t find you attractive, or they didn’t like your personality. Either way, it works both ways, and you have a 50-50 chance of it working out. If you ask me, I think those are pretty poor chances. So unfortunately, with the advent of dating apps like Tinder, people are just a swipe away from another date and another roll of the dice to get that 50-50 chance. It just so happens that nowadays, people are going on dates a heck of a lot more than they used to 10 years ago.
I don’t think it’s a question of serial dating, I think it’s the convenience of having access to a plethora of matches and being able to truly weed through as many people as possible until you give yourself the best chance at finding someone that you can spend the rest of your life with. If you think that guys are serial dating, maybe it’s that they just don’t like you, as harsh as that sounds, it’s probably true. There have been times I’ve been on a date with a girl, or I even dated them for a few weeks, and then I just found myself not interested in them, and I didn’t see a future with them. Wouldn’t it be smarter to cut it short rather than drag it out?
It’s not like I’m dating multiple women at the same time, when I do meet someone I like, I focus on only that girl and stop talking to other women altogether. But until I meet that woman who I want to focus my time and energy on, yes, I will continue to date in order to try to meet someone who I can spend time with. Isn’t that what dating is ultimately? The next time you think someone is a serial dater, truly look at the situation, the relationship, and figure out if you are a real good match for this person, because if you’re not, there’s your answer.
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How do I know it works? Simple. I went on a cross-country trip and I DID find love.
How did this happen? How do you know this will happen for you?
1. You challenge your own limits and limits others impose on you. EVERY DAY. After getting lost on a 6 mile hike that turned into 10+ with our whole group of 29 people in the Badlands, catching sunrise on top of the Arches, and claiming victory on the highest rock on Angel’s Landing, I secretly chuckle at one of my ex-boyfriends’ excuse to not bring me on a hiking trip: “You know what…it’s gonna be 3-4 miles with rocks and steps and stuff, it’s really not for beginners…” You know what – don’t even bother. Only when you have gotten a taste of what you are truly capable of, will you finally realize that people who limit your imaginations of life really have no place in your life; moreover, unleashing the imaginations in you will only call in the kind of love that inspires even more greatness.
2. You grow younger with the amazing people you meet. Trust me, there’s nothing like being called a “smart GIRL” by Jannik-the-Winking-Prince, who never fails to promptly bring a blush to the face of this woman long granted the “Leftover” tierra based on her age and marital status if she were living in China right now. Or have your hands held by Will-the-Funny-Bunny: “Let’s go see the fountains at the Bellagio!” and feel suddently all the way back to high school again 😉
3. You learn about yourself and find your balance: trust me, however much of a control-freak you are, you will see magic happen when you just slightly let it go and just go with the flow of wherever the group of new found friends take you – and surprise you. And don’t worry, somehow, your tenured goal oriented alter ego will eventually reclaim control to make sure whatever you want to do gets done, wherever you want to go gets visited, and whoever you want to see gets met. Remember the Indonesian doctor who told Julia Roberts how to balance between “Long time no sex”…then “Too much sex”? Trust others, trust yourself, trust the path – and you’ll find your guidance, and balance.
4. You get inspired by love from around the world and you can’t help but aspire a bigger life and deeper love. There’s Charlotte and Leighton from New Zealand who exemplify the amazing combination of two strong independent persons forming a partnership of love and freedom. There’s Isi and Jan from Germany who express their love thru arts, and there’s Sheryl and James from San Diego who express their love thru every little precious details every day. You realize that the beauty of love is – you make it whatever YOU want. It is make-believe. So believe – and make it so!
5. Most importantly, after a month of pure survival, you will learn to love yourself dearly – this way, you’ll be blessed if you find another, you’ll still be loved if you don’t. Most likely, you’ll have a better chance to find another – because a soul that’s full of love gives, and a soul that gives love, receives.
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When I decided to host a Happy Hour for the Women’s Soccer World Cup Quarter Final – USA vs. China game this past Friday, people asked me: “So who are YOU rooting for, the US, or China?” I said: “May the best team win.” And I meant it.
But I was not surprised at the result of US 1:0 win over China – and it was not just because of this ‘prediction’ I jokingly made in this earlier post comparing chances of happy marriages in America vs. in China. The ‘experts’ attributed the results primarily to the lack of experience of the China team, but I believe there are much more to this well played game than that – much that we can learn about winning in love and life as well.
As much as it was hard for me to watch the China team lose at such a catastrophic pace, I applaud the American team for representing the best spirit in sports and in life, in the following ways:
1. They looked like they genuinely enjoyed what they were doing (in their case, playing soccer). Despite the pressure and the big ticket on the line, every single one of the American girls looked like they are genuinely having a good time. You can tell that they CHOSE to be there because of passion. On the contrary, most of the Chinese girls looked like they really did NOT want to be there. Their faces read stress, confusion, and extreme horror of humiliating national honor by losing the game. This applies to dating, as well as to any other pursuit of life: interest, passion and the ability to let them loose despite external pressure, are the best drivers for top performance. Of course, winning a game or getting married is important (to some people). But if you put on a stern face and spoil the fun of out every first date by scrutinizing him as if he were already your future husband – before he even knows whether he wants to be your boyfriend…you may likely go on 300 first dates and remain unmarried. On the contrary, if you just relax, enjoy the company and the process of getting to know a bunch of new people without any unnecessary expectations or pressure before you both are ready, life will tend to throw you little pleasant surprises – and even if not, you still have your eyes on the ball, but you are also having a great time!
2. They looked like they actually have a life OFF the soccer field! “Everyone of them looked so attractive, it was almost distracting (from the game)…” A viewer so described the American Women’s Soccer Team to me. Indeed, I’m not sure if they will all win Beauty Pageants, but they sure did look like they took good care of themselves – impeccable hairstyle, beaming skin tone and irresistible personality. In short, they looked like if they just took off their uniforms and put on a dress right then and there, they are ready to go on a date and have a great time with men who walked out of GQ, People, Fortune, or magazines of the like. The China team? They were all young attractive women for sure, but the way most of them presented themselves made you wonder whether had any social life besides practicing soccer 16 hours a day, and hung out only with fellow soccer players for the rest of their free time.
Studies show that a well balanced life with diverse support systems such as family, friends and romantic relationships are the key to most long term career successes (and personal happiness). The next time a game is lost, perhaps the question to ask is not whether to practice one more hour per day, perhaps it is time to re-examine whether the ultra-strict training system in certain countries where athletes are only allowed to see their family once a year, and highly discouraged from developing any romantic relationships. Lesson for dating and relationships for today’s smart, strong, successful women? Even if you are happily single and has a stellar job onboard a rocket ship, don’t just let your career take over 100% of your life and hope that love will some how bump into you. Believe it or not, finding love is good for business 😉 The same applies to when you do enter a relationship as well – don’t just let a relationship take over 100% of your life, either! Build a life full of colorful choices, and you WILL enjoy fruitful successes from all those wonderful choices. Get over the myth that they compete with each other, and start practicing the true magic to make them compliment each other, and you will win the Game of Life just as swiftly as the American girls won their game of soccer.
3. They looked like they are going to survive and thrive, in any new chapter after soccer. As I watched the hard working Chinese soccer team sweat over stress, confusion and humiliation, I saw more pressure from obligation, responsibility and national pride – than motivation from love, passion and enthusiasm. I found my heart wretched whenever I started to imagine the kind of life they are going to lead after soccer, if all they’ve known in their adult life is soccer – in a system where very little resources are allocated to helping former athletes acclimate to and succeed back in society. I see enormous confusion of not only losing this one game, but also confusion as to where their life was going after the end of their career. Compared that, to their American counterparts, who happily accepted soccer scholarships to enjoy a great college education, made decisions to join professional soccer not out of obligation but out of passion, continued to enjoy life and access to ‘normal’ society while they pursue professional soccer, and will be presented with many long term career options (coaching, management, entrepreneurship or transition back into Corporate America with the college degree and social skills they acquired along the way…etc.) when they CHOOSE to retire. I see freedom of choice, fearless pursuit and carefree passion.
While the Chinese soccer players cannot control the system, they can control how they build their lives so they can better prepare themselves for life after soccer. And it is the same when it comes to dating and relationships: we cannot control whom we fall in love with and how long it is going to last, but we can control how we build our own life so the relationships we have does not deconstruct our support systems, hinder our growth as an independent person, or blind us from the significant cost of losing a relationship (if you’ve made it 100% of your existence). It is within your control to accept nothing but a relationship that’s going to work for each partner not just right now, but also supports and builds each other up in the long term – so even if/when you leave, you are leaving each other as a better person with a better life.
All these being said, my purpose here is not to criticize the Chinese Women’s soccer players or to completely disregard the entire system of the Chinese athletic authorities (which have been quite effective in driving Olympic medals and other international tournament achievements so far). Granted, some of the Chinese players came from heartbreakingly destitute families, and the system has generously offered them a path to elevate their entire families out of poverty. It is respected that they intend to pay back that obligation through hard work and honorable service. It is NOT, however, how optimal long term results are produced. Does anyone still believe that a marriage based on a man elevating a woman out of poverty and her obligation to serve him in return, will enjoy more long term success than a marriage based on true love, equality and compatibility? Come on, with such significant economic progress China has made, you would think they no longer have to rely on obligation, coercion or a concentration camp system to produce either world-class athletes, or happy marriages – and yet, with such confused performance from the Chinese soccer players and an arranged marriage looming over my own head, I fear there is still a long way for all of us to go.
Yes, my purpose is to shed some light on the contrast, and encourage the smart, strong, successful women in both China and America, to take a close look, make your own choice, and find your own beacon of liberty, freedom, and love.
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Let’s talk about sex baby. As a woman, it’s still considered taboo for me to say yes, I like sex, in fact, I love it. It feels good physically, it makes me feel good mentally (who doesn’t feel more desirable after really amazing sex?!), it’s good for you (uh hello – a workout without needing a gym membership!) and it’s good for your relationship.
No matter how far the world has come and I’m not claiming to be the loudest, proudest feminist, but world, hi, we’re still very judgmental of women who proudly express their sexuality, and judge and shame them for being loud and proud of their sexual desires and preferences (think, Miley Cyrus).
But let’s have a little chat shall we? Enough is enough already. We know that sex is healthy, it boosts the immune system, it’s a great workout, it boosts our mood. It also improves intimate connections with our lovers. But, let’s chat about something super important here, good sex, bad sex and the people we have it with. Personally, being a person who craves good sex, I get bored easily when the sex I’m having is what I call, plain vanilla, and from here on out we shall compare sex to ice cream, because sex comes in so many flavors and we all have the choice to pick the ones we want, Just like ice cream.
There’s nothing wrong with plain vanilla, it’s sweet, but dull, especially if that’s all you have, every day forever. And if that’s all I had for the rest of my life, I’d survive, but be bored to tears. Currently being unattached means, I get to decide when, where, with whom and how I enjoy my ice cream, and all it’s amazing flavors, and I refuse to be shamed for that. if you’re anything like me, you have that one person who you connect with on every level, except in the bedroom.
I won’t deny, in my life I’ve had many lovers who there was zero connection with on any level, but it didn’t matter, the spark, wasn’t there at all. When you meet that person, and everything fits, they’re supportive, make you get those happy butterflies, but as soon as you hit the sheets, it all falls apart, and no matter what you try, fail. For me that person is someone I’ve cared about forever, everything is right when we’re together, we have a million things in common, in fact I could call him my twin, but no matter how hard we try, something disconnects. The listening isn’t there, I go in expecting miracles, and leave let down, (that’s not to say it’s a miserable experience, it’s just not fireworks) it breaks my heart. The thing I’m always left wondering is, why, when I’m attracted to someone so much in all other ways, why is the sex sometimes so vanilla?! And should we settle for vanilla sex if everything else is great. I think, the answer is no, but as always, for some people, it may be yes. Sex to me, is high priority, I’ve already mentioned I love it,(I have mentioned that right?)and so a great relationship without great sex, won’t be great, it will be vanilla. And this is why. Women for years, have been told, hide your sexuality, suppress that side of yourself, so if you entered a relationship and the sex was so so, well, OK, but you should just accept that maybe, that’s normal. Or even that maybe the problem was you, you frigid hag! (as if! Trust me, it’s not you). A good relationship requires food sex, maybe some like it a little more vanilla than others, but the sparks gotta fly, both in and out of the bedroom. The truth is. Sometimes relationships work and sometimes they dont. And sexual chemistry is a huge part of a relationship.
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I don’t usually think of myself as a pretty girl. I’m not ugly by any means, but I’m not someone who stops traffic either. That being said, my whole life I’ve suffered with the consequences of what I call “pretty girl syndrome“.
What is this you ask? I see you rolling your eyes “not another post about how hard life is when your pretty”. No. This post is about what it’s like to be judged. And how that can affect relationships. Recently I experienced someone’s insecurities, aimed at me in the form of rage. I recently moved into a new apartment, and my downstairs neighbor, an insecure older woman who I could tell has been having ongoing marital issues with her husband, became enraged with me less than two weeks after I moved in.
The first thing I want to point out is how can I tell she has insecurities? Well, she never once said hello to me, looked me in the eye, or spoke to me, in two weeks, despite my attempts at being pleasant and in that time, I had full conversations with all of my other neighbors, including many down the street. I’m very approachable and friendly. Secondly, in the same two weeks, I heard her have multiple screaming matches with her husband which is also how I could tell they were having issues in their relationship. Minding my business I spoke only of apartment related issues and only very briefly with her husband. However, very late one night, this woman banged on my door, and proceeded to scream at me, and in fact, damaged property of mine, and eventually ended up arrested and charged with charges of assault and criminal mischief and property damage.
This is where “pretty girl syndrome” comes in. This woman, struggling with insecurities, saw me, judged me, and raged out on me, for being “pretty”. Too pretty to be single and living next door the husband she’s having marital struggles with. In this case, I did nothing wrong, but in the midst of a mental crisis this woman got herself arrested (attacking a police officer didn’t help her case). This is not the first time I’ve been judged for being too pretty or too “something”. Countless times it was assumed I’m sleeping with my male friends, or they must be “in love with me” in order to hang out with me, because we can’t be just friends.
In college I was told by a guy he couldn’t tell his girlfriend we were having lunch because my name was “too sexy and she would assume the worst”. MY NAME! so you would rather lie completely than tell the truth?! Getting judged only makes me judge myself more, I end up taking on blame for things I didn’t do. Apologize for things that aren’t my fault. I’m sorry my parents picked a sexy sounding name? I’m sorry you’re so insecure you threw bleach at me because you think your husband can’t keep it in his pants, but did you stop to think that I might have a say in that? Why am I apologizing for being judged? Why do I feel like I should suddenly be unpretty to make you feel better?
So how does this affect my relationships, or yours if this sounds familiar to you? Because I find myself feeling attacked frequently when I’m not. I end up on the defensive quickly because I feel the need to apologize for things that aren’t my fault and then I feel angry for being made to feel that way, even though it’s me who got me there. And that is a sure-fire way to destroy a relationship. Always being on the defensive means you’re always ready to attack what’s going to attack you, but what if you’re not really being attacked? It’s time to take that control back, stop apologizing for being pretty, let the defenses down. And for you and its insecurities, stop assuming every pretty girl is out to get you. You might build a stronger relationship and find you’re able to drop your insecurities if you learn we all have them.
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One of the reasons I dread having a first date is because typically they are like job interviews. You have to get to know someone, just like you do in a job interview, so you ask them 21 questions about themselves. After thousands of dates, you can imagine how boring this can be, both asking the questions, and answering them repeatedly without an end in sight.
One of the things I tried recently to shake things up a bit and make a first date more interesting was to switch up my questions. Here are some examples of questions you may have asked or have been asked, and what I think you could ask instead to make a first date more enjoyable:
Generic Question: How many brothers or sisters do you have?
Better Question: If you have any siblings, tell me about one of the funniest moments you remember with them?
Generic Question: What do you do for a living?
Better Question: What’s the favorite part of your job?
Generic Question: Where did you go to college?
Better Question: What did you major in college, and if you could have changed your major and done something else, what would it be and why?
Generic Question: What are some of your hobbies?
Better Question: Which hobby do you prefer the most, and why do you like it so much?
Generic Question: Do you have any pets?
Better Question: If your pet could talk, what are some of the things you think it would say to you?
Generic Question: What’s your favorite food?
Better Question: What was the last thing you cooked, and why did you enjoy preparing it?
Generic Question: What’s your favorite movie?
Better Question: What were some of the last few movies you watched, and did any of them move you at all?
Generic Question: What’s your favorite band?
Better Question: If you could listen to any band dead or alive right now, which would it be and why?
Generic Question: Where are some of the places you’ve traveled to?
Better Question: Tell me about the most memorable moment you’ve ever had in a foreign country.
Generic Question: Are you close to your parents?
Better Question: Tell me about something about growing up with your parents that you remember vividly, funny, sad, or just a cool moment.
Generic Question: What do you do in your free time?
Better Question: When you have free time, what do you usually do more: relax, read, listen to music, watch movies, engage in culture, seek out adventure, or all of the above?
I can go on and on with these generic questions that don’t get to the core of what will show if there is a match. Personality and chemistry reign supreme, but these generic questions don’t target those characteristics. So hopefully my “Better questions” will help those of you who are going on yet another first date. When you ask someone these questions, take extra care to look at their facial expressions, so you can see how they got surprised and/or intrigued by your question.
I think these questions will give you more of where the person is coming from. Whether or not they are creative, funny, or if they can think on the spot. Plus, based on the answers, you might find that their personality is a lot like yours if they choose some of the same answers you would choose. Of course it’s only fair that you answer them also, so make sure you thought your answers through. In the end, this would be a much better way to get to know someone in my opinion while walking in a park with a coffee or an ice cream in hand.